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US Merchant Marine Academy head coach announces retirement

A 1977 USMMA graduate, Mike Toop exits his alma mater leading the best team in school history.

US Merchant Marine Academy head coach Mike Toop announced his impending retirement from coaching on Wednesday. 

Toop summarized a 45-year career in a tweet, writing, "Honored to play on this field with the BEST team in Academy history. Able to coach the game I love for 45 years & this Saturday one last time as the HFC at KP in the USMMA vs Coast Guard game. I did my time, loved it! I'm out!"

Toop has been the head coach at USMMA since 2005, and his 2021 outfit sits at 7-1 heading into the Secretaries' Cup rivalry game at the US Coast Guard Academy. 

A 1977 USMMA graduate, Toop is looking to leave with a 3-game winning streak in one of Division III's most interesting rivalries. The Mariners won 56-41 in 2019 and defeated Coast Guard 24-14 last fall -- the only game either program played during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Mariners currently sit in second place in the NEWMAC with a shot at their first co-championship in Toop's final season.

After playing at the Merchant Marine Academy from 1973-76, Toop moved immediately into coaching in the New York State high school ranks. He worked exclusively in the Northeast save for a 4-year stint as Davidson's head coach from 2001-04.

Toop helped win three Ivy League titles as Penn's defensive coordinator from 1992-98, leading the top outfight at the FCS level in '94. 

Also the school's associate AD for admissions, Toop has won multiple awards across his career, including During his tenure at the Academy, the Power of Inspiration Award, the Coach of the Year Award, and the Captain James Liebertz Memorial Award, given to the person who exemplifies the traits of dedication, perseverance, enthusiasm and love for USMMA Athletics.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.